"There's a lot of hits and pounding I get," he said. "I didn't want to get too banged up while I'm here. It's just … I don't know. It's a lot of banging I have to get used to."
Crowell is fourth in the conference with 95.5 yards per game and has five total touchdowns. Coach Mark Richt has said he'd like to keep his tailback "between 20 to 25 carries per game," but admits that "it could be more or less" depending on the situation.
"I think he's learning that not every single play there's going to be a lot of space," Richt said. "It's SEC football."
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley praised Crowell last week for his ability to avoid taking big hits. Crowell says his pension for missing would-be tacklers comes natural.
"I think I try to keep my feet moving and try to never take head contact," he said. "I think that's my main thing."
Football is the easy part, Crowell says. The off-the-field duties have taken the most getting used to. He says his personal goal is to become a freshman All-American. But he's still adjusting to his class schedule and the recognition that comes with being the focal point of the team.
"I didn't know it was going to be this tiring," he admits. "It's like, so much pressure and stuff on you. I didn't know that, but I expected everything else. I knew it was going to be hard. Outside of football, that's what I have to get used to."
All in all, the first six games have produced many highlights and evidenced potential for much more.
"I've been pleased with his progress, and I think he's learning every week," Richt said. "He's getting better every week. I think if he keeps growing he's really going to be something special."
A rotation of necessity
Burnette has a patella injury and Gates is still trying to recover from an ankle sprain suffered in the season-opener six weeks ago.
But collectively, the two are tag-teaming the right guard position to help keep the offensive line together. The two rotated each series in the first half against Tennessee last week.
"We knew beforehand," Burnette said. "By about the third quarter, I was starting to get more sore, so Gates went more in a row to kind of give me a rest."
Burnette was in the game when Crowell scored the first of his two touchdowns in the third quarter. Gates was in for the latter, proving both players to be effective.
"I felt comfortable doing that," Gates said. "I feel like if we keep doing that, no matter how the rotation goes, everybody will be kept fresh."
Burnette is the listed starter for Saturday. Expect Gates to be in the game an ample amount of time as the combination continues.
"You can get going and get good, but somewhere along the way (the injuries) just fatigue a little faster than normal," Richt said.